By Nadine Araksi, Toronto-based Story Coach

Perceived obstacles vs. real obstacles

Imagine you’re walking down the street, minding your own business, maybe whistling a tune, or maybe you’re listening to a podcast. Easy, breezy, perfect temperature… and then… what’s that ahead? You realize there’s an obstacle: a fallen tree blocking your path.

Now imagine your biggest obstacle in life today. What do you think is standing in the way of getting to where you want to go? How does the idea of that obstacle in your life make you feel?

A little while ago, I was upset about a perceived obstacle. I thought there was someone completely getting in my way. I believed there was no way I could be good at what I was attempting to do with this person criticizing me and creating conflict. At times, I made this person the villain, citing a list of reasonable excuses for why I’d incited their ire, and taking no responsibility for my part in what happened. But more often than not, I took 150% responsibility for what happened and I turned on myself. 

Story upon story appeared. Maybe I wasn’t cut out for this task? Maybe I wasn’t even good at what I’ve always thought I was good at! Maybe if I just worked harder to meet expectations, I could mend fences. 

How to approach life’s obstacles

What would I do if I came across a fallen tree on a walk? I’d probably figure out a way over it or around it. I highly doubt I’d say, “Oh jeez, this obstacle means I’m shit at walking. I should probably give up and go home. I’m not smart enough to be on this street.”

And yet, this is what many of us do with perceived obstacles in life all the time. Once I realized that I could just go over or around this person to get a job done, and that nothing they said needed to mean something about me unless I wanted it to, I stopped wasting energy on the drama in my head.

So take a moment to think about your obstacle. What if your perceived obstacles are not the true obstacle at all? Zoom out. Is what you think is stopping you from getting the results you want really the thing in your way?

Helping clients get out of their own way is what we do. We help you get past that proverbial tree and moving forward with momentum towards exactly where you want to go. Don’t know where you want to go just yet? We’ve got you covered there, too. Our alignment framework helps you see the road ahead more clearly, so you can navigate life’s inevitable bumps with ease. 


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